By Jim den Hollander
Part three of my four-part summer project (It will turn into 8-12 parts, I believe) wrapped up on the weekend as I finally wrapped up tabulating the games for the Sauk Prairie Eagles beginning with the 2010-11 season.
Again, I must give thanks and praise to www.wisconsinprephockey.net for having game sheets and statistics’ dating back that far. In the case of the Eagles, it goes back a season or two further, but I started at the 2010-11 season to keep it level with the RWD and Baraboo/Portage programs which started that season.
The Eagles have an interesting modern history which saw the team start out the 11-season stretch as a solid mid to high pack squad, led by players like Luke McElhenie who played just three seasons with the Eagles, compiling a total of 80 goals and 80 assists with just 42 PIM.
That was followed by some extremely lean seasons, from 2013-14 to 2015-16 that saw the club endure an overall record of 12-58-0.
The team turned a corner in 2016-17 which coincided with the arrival of David Lohrei as Head Coach. Lohrei, with mentoring experience at the highest junior levels as well as stints in the pros, has put together a 71-30-6 mark so far, highlighted in 2019-20 when a tough 3-2 loss in the regular season finale against Middleton prevented the team from posting 20 regular season victories – a rare feat.
Ironically, the team has posted 20 regular season defeats, in the 2014-15 season with a tough 3-21-0 run through that campaign.
The Eagles longest winning streak is nine games which were the first nine games of the 2020-21 campaign, a shortened season that saw the Eagles entering the playoffs with a 12-1 record. The teams longest losing streak is 15 games, from Dec. 12, 2014, to Feb. 5, 2015.
McElhenie had a solid supporting cast two with names like Travis Jacobson, Jacob Free, Dayne Leonard and others that were regular scoring contributors. McElhenie went on to play USHL hockey in Madison and in three seasons at UW-Stevens Point he helped the team to both WIAC and National D3 Championship in 2018-19. Look in this space for story and interview with McElhenie in the next week.
McElhenie held the team’s points lead until Riley Jelinek who led the entire state in scoring in both 2018-19 and 2019-20 compiled a massive run of 92 goals and 148 assists for 240 points in 89 games. Linemate Camden Desroches also moved past McElhenie with 94 goals and 87 assists for 181 points in 91 games.
It’s hard to imagine anyone coming close to Jelinek’s total but 2022 senior Nick Mast will factor in as he enters his final varsity season with 58 goals and 68 assists for 126 points in 60 games. Rounding out the top five for the Eagles at this point is Jacob Free with 34 goals and 57 assists for 91 points in 60 games.
Luke Mast is not far off the pace, the incoming junior already compiling 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points in 37 games while Hakon Peterson, an incoming senior sits at 16 goals and 41 assists for 57 points in 60 games.
The top point getters also lead both goals and assists while the team’s highest Penalty minutes total goes to Cam Gesicki with 129. The only player over 100 minutes in his career is Ryan Fitzsimmons at 108.
In goal, Dakota Pickhard leads in games (it appears having a name on the game sheet is classed as a game played which is a little unusual for goaltenders) with 83 and he also has the most minutes played – 3,019:12. Pickhard bridged the Dark Ages era and the Revival era, facing 1,737 shots in that period and beaten 184 times. He lowered his Goals Against Average each season after that tough opening year, ending up with a 3.11 GAA and Save Percentage of .894.
In Wisconsin High School games, it appears a Save Percentage over .900 is rare and only one Eagles’ goaltender with at least 10 games played have hit that mark.
Stephen Schultz was the team’s workhorse in the first few seasons, compiling a record of 22-16-3 with 2,089:26 minutes played, which converts to 40.97 games. He stopped 1,141 of 1,226 shots for a 3.15 GAA and a SP% of .901.
Jordan O’Connor played all 1,239:15 minutes of the 2019-20 season, compiling an awesome 19-4-1 record. She put up a goose egg in five games and kicked out 311 of 347 shots for a 1.48 GAA and a SP% of .899.
Schultz leads the goaltenders in shutouts with nine and Pickhard blanked the opposition a half dozen times.
Saukhockey.info will wrap up the varsity summer project with the Badger Lightning. I am not 100 percent sure when the schools all combined to form Badger Lightning, but we will use the 2010-11 season as the start point for this as well.
Soon after, stats from the first decade of Dells Ducks will be highlighted.